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Air Tahiti Nui is one of my favorite airlines for trips from LAX to Paris, not only are their flights ALL direct, but their crews are friendly, their coach seats have amenities most business fares offer, and their rates for excess and overweight luggage are lower than most other airlines flying this route. The only downside is that they do not fly daily, so it helps if you can be flexible with your dates of travel.

The flight was scheduled to take 11 hours, but we arrived an hour early 🙂

Inflight coach lunch was coq au vin with a choice of red, white, or sparkling wines, salad, a camembert, and a dessert (which I did not taste). It was on par with a Business class meal on American Airlines. The breakfast the following morning was terrible, so I would recommend ordering a kosher or vegetarian meal online before you travel (at no extra cost).

Every seat had its own iPad size screen with flight details, movies, Tahitian TV program, music, and games.

The only time I am truly happy in the morning is when I am awake because I am landing in a city I love, like Paris 🙂

Most buildings do not have elevators and the ones that do are usually only big enough for 2 people or 1 person and 1 piece of luggage, so be ruthless in paring down what you are packing. You might be lugging baggage up FIVE flights of stairs. For views like this, it might make the exercise worth it. If you are booking a rental, remember that the ground floor does not count as a floor, so the 1st floor in France is the 2nd floor in the US.

With open air markets several times in week in every neighborhood, you can pick up fresh fruit, bread, and local wine for a meal or picnic and live like a native.

The natives love chocolate (who doesn’t?) and sometimes the best finds are new chocolatiers who worked for famous ones befor opening up their own shops like Pascal Legac who the creative director of La Maison du Chocolat and was voted one of the 12 best chocolatiers for three years in a row.

He makes caramel (they were sold out) and chocolate eclairs (this was the last one left at 1pm), chocolate tarts, and chocolates with single origins and he will DELIVER if you are in France!

To celebrate my return to France, I picked up the last bottle of Drappier 2006 Millésime on the shelf. This full bodied velvety finish champagne was the perfect welcome home 🙂

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I have a friend who moved to Auckland and as I was checking airfares for his son to go visit him, I found that Air Tahiti Nui is offering a $1118 roundtrip airfare from LAX to Auckland with a three day layover in Tahiti and they are giving away three free nights in a Tahitian hotel with the deal!

The hotel choices include two waterfront hotels, the Radisson Plaza Resort or the Sofitel Tahiti Maeva Beach. For $275 more (the upgrade fee covers all three nights), you can stay in an over water bungalow at either the Meridien or Intercontinental. They even offer an hotel on Moorea for an extra $200 (for all three nights) at the Intercontinental. To get to Moorea, you will need to ferry to the island, which takes an hour and costs $30 roundtrip, and since I love Moorea I would say it’s definitely worth it, but if you’ve never been to Tahiti, you may want to just stay on the main island.

You must book and buy your ticket by November 6, 2011, but you can travel anytime between January 30 and May 31, 2012. You can travel as early as October 23, 2011 but rates from October 2011 until January 29, 2012 incur an extra $102 per person surcharge. Keep in mind that it is the rainy season in Tahiti from November through February and New Zealand’s Autumn begins in March, so I would recommend going between March and May for the best climate in both places.

Getting the best weather in two countries with a great airfare and free hotel nights may be one of the best holiday gifts to give or receive this year!

Tahiti may not be the first place you think of if you are planning a last minute trip, but with Caramageddon fast approaching, planning a trip away from L.A. may be the perfect reward for surviving traffic this week-end.

Air Tahiti Nui is offering limited tickets for only $698 Round Trip from LAX, the sale will end either July 19th or when the last ticket is sold. Travel must start between August 1-18th and you must return by September 8th from Tahiti. Tickets are nonrefundable and you must book through their website using code HOT63 (you may call 877-824-4846 to make a reservation but there will be a $15 surcharge). They have hotels starting at $150 per night, so make August in Tahiti your Los Angeles antidote!

Now that flights are going in and out of Europe again, Air Tahiti Nui is having a sale to get people to travel to Paris again.

Springtime in Paris is nice, but if you can’t make travel short notice or prefer to go in the Fall, you can use code FLYATN1 to save $100 for Economy class tickets or save $400 by using code FLYATN2 for Business class tickets. The codes are only valid for online bookings made through June 6 for travel between May 15th to July 15 or October 1 to November 15, 2010.

If you want to cruise the South Pacific, Paul Gauguin Cruises through the islands of Tahiti, then on to Rarotonga and Auckland. This cruise line was named one of the top three small luxury cruise ships by Conde Nast travelers in 2009, so getting this kind of quality for up to 45% off plus 2 for 1 airfare from Los Angeles to Papeete, makes this even more tempting. Just book by June 30, 2010.

Bon voyage no matter how or where you are going.

If your travel destination is not served by Apple Vacations from yesterday’s post, then try C & H which offers nearly every other destination you could imagine (as far as I know they do not offer travel to Antarctica…yet). Since my friend Shelly is getting married next year and trying to figure out where to go on her honeymoon, I checked into what C & H offers to Bora Bora, Tahiti. Of course the best flights are through Air Tahiti Nui (see earlier post) but for a consolidator package at the five star Bora Bora Lagoon Resort and Spa, C & H offers air and hotel for $4065 for a week in June of 2009; to give you an idea of how good this deal is, the “special deal” offered at the hotel website has the lowest priced rooms starting at $700 per night, so the C & H deal is about $2500 cheaper than booking it yourself (you save $1000 for the room and about $1500 for the airfare). Yes, it is still very expensive, but Bora Bora Lagoon Resort is the stuff of dreams, with 50 of it’s 80 bungalows over the water, first class accommodations, and service that even offers your own private beach picnic complete with private chef and server. This is epitome of the dream vacation, so if only the best will do, this is the place to live your dreams.

If you don’t have that kind of budget, or would like to return from your dream vacation with some great memories and some money for other things, like food and shoes, then check out Club Med. Yes, Club Med has a beautiful classy resort in Bora Bora that actually caters to honeymooners and couples (many couples from Japan marry in Tahiti). They also have bungalows over the water and they are the resort with access to the famous and fabulous Motu Tapu (the island you see in every travel brochure of Tahiti) only 5 minutes away. Since everything is very expensive in Tahiti, an all-inclusive Club Med vacation makes sense for anyone who wants to eat and drink well without worrying about paying $8 for every glass of orange juice.

Bora Bora is not a great place for single people unless you are a writer like James Michner, a hermit, or so comfortable being alone in a sea of couples that you don’t care, but with all that being said, I would go back again just to play with the fish as they swim up to the beach on Motu Tapu tomorrow. Is it tomorrow yet?

>If your travel destination is not served by Apple Vacations from yesterday’s post, then try C & H which offers nearly every other destination you could imagine (as far as I know they do not offer travel to Antarctica…yet). Since my friend Shelly is getting married next year and trying to figure out where to go on her honeymoon, I checked into what C & H offers to Bora Bora, Tahiti. Of course the best flights are through Air Tahiti Nui (see earlier post) but for a consolidator package at the five star Bora Bora Lagoon Resort and Spa, C & H offers air and hotel for $4065 for a week in June of 2009; to give you an idea of how good this deal is, the “special deal” offered at the hotel website has the lowest priced rooms starting at $700 per night, so the C & H deal is about $2500 cheaper than booking it yourself (you save $1000 for the room and about $1500 for the airfare). Yes, it is still very expensive, but Bora Bora Lagoon Resort is the stuff of dreams, with 50 of it’s 80 bungalows over the water, first class accommodations, and service that even offers your own private beach picnic complete with private chef and server. This is epitome of the dream vacation, so if only the best will do, this is the place to live your dreams.

If you don’t have that kind of budget, or would like to return from your dream vacation with some great memories and some money for other things, like food and shoes, then check out Club Med. Yes, Club Med has a beautiful classy resort in Bora Bora that actually caters to honeymooners and couples (many couples from Japan marry in Tahiti). They also have bungalows over the water and they are the resort with access to the famous and fabulous Motu Tapu (the island you see in every travel brochure of Tahiti) only 5 minutes away. Since everything is very expensive in Tahiti, an all-inclusive Club Med vacation makes sense for anyone who wants to eat and drink well without worrying about paying $8 for every glass of orange juice.

Bora Bora is not a great place for single people unless you are a writer like James Michner, a hermit, or so comfortable being alone in a sea of couples that you don’t care, but with all that being said, I would go back again just to play with the fish as they swim up to the beach on Motu Tapu tomorrow. Is it tomorrow yet?

>With so many of the airlines going bankrupt, merging, and losing any kind of competitive pricing or service features, traveling by air can be a gamble, or worse yet, a nightmare. But there are airlines which offer you a winning solution if you are willing to try another kind of airline.

Sometimes flying with a foreign airline is the best way to go somewhere, even for flights within the U.S.; Virgin America started flights within the U.S. and offers a coach class that rivals most business class seats for $500 round-trip, and first class round-trip tickets for under $1500 including the applicable taxes and fees. The infamous Richard Branson has branched out from his Virgin Atlantic venture to offer flights between East and West Coast cities while offering first class quality at prices below some coach fares. The seats all have entertainment screens so you choose what entertains you instead of the airline selecting your movie for the flight. Nice lighting touches, connectivity at your seat for your electronics, and a sense of humor (one of his planes is named after Stephen Colbert), make this airline a top choice for those who want modern conveniences and value for their flight dollars.

Want to go somewhere exotic on your flight? How about Tahiti? I have traveled to Tahiti and her islands about seven times (so far) and the last three times I have traveled with the Tahitian airline Air Tahiti Nui. It’s wonderful to be greeted with a tiare flower (frangipani) and have the island spirit embodied in the flight staff as they welcome you aboard. Remember that Tahiti is actually east of Hawaii, just further south of the equator, so if you are willing to fly to Hawaii, why not take your passport and go where there are as many visitors in a YEAR as there are in Hawai in a DAY. Who says it’s too expensive? Air Tahiti Nui has packages with air and hotel for $846. This airline also has the individual seat screens and though a bit cramped in coach, they still offer more leg room than Delta in the same class. Air Tahiti Nui also offers flight to Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and a world pass, so there really is no limit to how far you can go once you get a breath of foreign air (travel).

With so many of the airlines going bankrupt, merging, and losing any kind of competitive pricing or service features, traveling by air can be a gamble, or worse yet, a nightmare. But there are airlines which offer you a winning solution if you are willing to try another kind of airline.

Sometimes flying with a foreign airline is the best way to go somewhere, even for flights within the U.S.; Virgin America started flights within the U.S. and offers a coach class that rivals most business class seats for $500 round-trip, and first class round-trip tickets for under $1500 including the applicable taxes and fees. The infamous Richard Branson has branched out from his Virgin Atlantic venture to offer flights between East and West Coast cities while offering first class quality at prices below some coach fares. The seats all have entertainment screens so you choose what entertains you instead of the airline selecting your movie for the flight. Nice lighting touches, connectivity at your seat for your electronics, and a sense of humor (one of his planes is named after Stephen Colbert), make this airline a top choice for those who want modern conveniences and value for their flight dollars.

Want to go somewhere exotic on your flight? How about Tahiti? I have traveled to Tahiti and her islands about seven times (so far) and the last three times I have traveled with the Tahitian airline Air Tahiti Nui. It’s wonderful to be greeted with a tiare flower (frangipani) and have the island spirit embodied in the flight staff as they welcome you aboard. Remember that Tahiti is actually east of Hawaii, just further south of the equator, so if you are willing to fly to Hawaii, why not take your passport and go where there are as many visitors in a YEAR as there are in Hawai in a DAY. Who says it’s too expensive? Air Tahiti Nui has packages with air and hotel for $846. This airline also has the individual seat screens and though a bit cramped in coach, they still offer more leg room than Delta in the same class. Air Tahiti Nui also offers flight to Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and a world pass, so there really is no limit to how far you can go once you get a breath of foreign air (travel).

>Sometimes we need a little help to bring our inner beauty out; maybe a bath would be a good antidote revive your spirits and make you glow from the inside out; pour in some of the great bath products from Lignes St. Barts or some Monoi from Tahiti to add a touch of an exotic and luxurious vacation for your senses.

Number One Beauty Supply in Santa Monica has everything you need from hair products to make-up, with top brands like Epicuren (they make a facial sunblock that feels smooth, smells clean, and does not make you break out), J.F. Lazartique, for silky healthy hair, and Bloom to make your lips moist and shiny.

They also carry my favorite fragrant candles from Tocca and Trapp to help set a beautiful mood. If you would like to put together a nice gift basket for someone, this is the place, even if that someone is yourself!

Sometimes we need a little help to bring our inner beauty out; maybe a bath would be a good antidote revive your spirits and make you glow from the inside out; pour in some of the great bath products from Lignes St. Barts or some Monoi from Tahiti to add a touch of an exotic and luxurious vacation for your senses.

Number One Beauty Supply in Santa Monica has everything you need from hair products to make-up, with top brands like Epicuren (they make a facial sunblock that feels smooth, smells clean, and does not make you break out), J.F. Lazartique, for silky healthy hair, and Bloom to make your lips moist and shiny.

They also carry my favorite fragrant candles from Tocca and Trapp to help set a beautiful mood. If you would like to put together a nice gift basket for someone, this is the place, even if that someone is yourself!

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